Mary Massaron Ross elected President of 22,000-member National Defense Attorney's Organization

Second Female President in the 50-year history of DRI

On October 27th, Mary Massaron Ross, of Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan, was elected president of the 22,000 member DRI-The Voice of the Defense Bar. She thus becomes only the second woman to serve as president of the 50-year old organization. DRI is one of the three largest professional organizations for attorneys in the country and the largest exclusively representing members of the defense bar.

“Mary brings so much to DRI: great strategic thinking, formidable legal skills, and an instant connection with people. DRI will thrive under her leadership,” said Henry Sneath, outgoing president of DRI.

Ms. Massaron Ross was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1951.  She graduated summa cum laude from Marygrove College in Detroit in 1982 and summa cum laude from Wayne State University Law School in 1990.

Ms. Massaron Ross, a member of the Board of Directors of Plunkett & Cooney PC (Bloomfield Hills), is the head of the firm’s appellate practice group. She has served as an active member and brief writer for DRI’s Amicus Committee, filing briefs in cutting edge cases in the United States Supreme Court as well as several state courts of last resort.

She is a past chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Amicus Curiae Briefs where she supervised the preparation of numerous briefs filed in the United States Supreme Court. She is also past chair of DRI’s Appellate Advocacy Committee and a co-editor of DRI’s “A Defense Lawyer’s Guide to Appellate Practice.”

“DRI has chosen well,” said John R. Kouris, DRI’s Executive Director. “Clearly, the legal profession is transitioning into a 21st Century model with no real clarity yet on what that will look like. Mary has the prescience to help define that model and the demeanor to lead the defense bar smoothly towards it.”

A former law clerk to Associate Justice Patricia J. Boyle of the Michigan Supreme Court, she has won numerous victories before the Michigan Supreme Court for clients in both the public and private sector. Mary has also handled appellate matters before the Ohio Supreme Court, the Indiana Supreme Court, the Alabama Supreme Court, the Michigan Court of Appeals, the California Court of Appeals, and the Third, Sixth, and Seventh Circuit Courts of Appeal.

For seven consecutive years, she has been honored as a “Best Lawyer” in Best Lawyers in America® and in 2008 was named “Lawyer of the Year” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.


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